FuersT  |  Mathews  |  Pfaff  |  Reid  |  McKinley



Mathew FuersT


“Mathew Fuerst so vigorously controls his material that it never verges on the sentimental” -Alex Ross


A recipient of two consecutive Palmer-Dixon Prizes for best composition presented by The Juilliard School, composer Mathew Fuerst has also received third prize in the 2nd Annual Antonin Dvorak Composition Competition held in Prague, Czech Republic. Other prizes include numerous ASCAP awards and being selected as a finalist in the Whitaker Competition, presented by the American Composers Orchestra. Fuerst's works have been performed in Carnegie Hall, Alice Tully Hall, New York State Theatre, Merkin Hall, Miller Theatre at Columbia University, and Bargemusic in Brooklyn, NY as well as in Dallas, Houston, Pittsburgh, Rochester, Montreal, Paris, Budapest, Scotland, and Hong Kong by such world-renowned musicians as cellist Jeffrey Zeigler (Kronos Quartet), Vicky Chow (Bang on a Can), Deutsche Grammophon recording artist Ilya Gringolts, and Canadian violin virtuoso Jasper Wood.


Recent commissions include a suite for solo viola written for Nadia Sirota, a string quartet for the New York City Ballet Choreographic Institute's 10th Anniversary Celebration in collaboration with renowned German choreographer Marco Goecke, Calendar Variations commissioned by Jeffrey Zeigler, and a second string quartet for the Amernet Quartet. Fuerst's previous commission from the New York City Ballet's Choreographic Institute, Clarinet Quartet, was written in collaboration with New York City Ballet Principal Dancer Albert Evans. The ballet sparked the interest of the Washington Ballet, which performed it during their Love: 7x7 series. It was so successful that it was immediately presented by the New York City Ballet as part of the opening gala performance the following season.


Equally at home as a pianist, Fuerst has appeared as soloist performing his own work with the Eastman Philharmonic under the direction of Alan Pierson. While a student at the summer festival at the prestigious La Schola Cantorum in Paris, where he studied with Samuel Adler, he performed his Three Etudes for piano. Mathew Fuerst began piano lessons at the age of seven with Larry Dieffenbach in Geneva, IL, and began composing three years later. Fuerst has also recorded his solo piano work, The Drift of Things.


He holds a Bachelor's Degree in composition from the Eastman School of Music, where he studied with David Liptak, Christopher Rouse, Joseph Schwantner, Sydney Hodkinson, and Augusta Read Thomas, and piano with Alan Feinberg. He holds Master's and Doctorate degrees in Composition from The Juilliard School, where he worked with Robert Beaser and John Corigliano. Mathew Fuerst currently is on the music faculty at Hillsdale College as Associate Professor of Theory and Composition.


Fuerst’s music can be has been recorded and released on Navona Records and Albany Records.




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As an active composer in the Minneapolis area for the past several years, Heath Mathews has been called a "gifted young composer" who "writes with a clarity of musical voice." The compositional interests of Dr. Mathews include a wide range of musical genres and styles. Playing in rock and jazz groups in his youth, the composer draws influence equally from the vernacular music of contemporary culture, western art music, and world music.


After completing his B.A. in music in 2000, Heath Mathews entered the graduate composition program at the University of Minnesota in 2001. Mathews has studied composition with Alex Lubet, Douglas Geers, Anthony Gatto, Bill Banfield, Christopher Hopkins (electro-acoustic music), Judith Zaimont (composition and orchestration) and Dominick Argento (orchestration). The composer completed a Ph.D. in music composition in 2007.


As an educator, Dr. Mathews is an adjunct instructor for Troy University. He teaches courses in music fundamentals, popular music studies, music appreciation, and music theory. Mathews has maintained an interest in the area of popular music studies and has presented conference papers on topics such as the music of Jimi Hendrix and the music of Green Day. The composer has also served as a popular music panel chair at MPCA/ACA conferences and assisted in the design of undergraduate popular music courses at the University of Minnesota.


Heath Mathews has received commissions from ensembles, theatrical production companies and individual performers.  Dr. Mathews has also been the recipient of two Jerome Emerging Composer (JFund) awards, a Minnesota Artist Initiative Grant, multiple ASCAP awards, and various arts grants.




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Bill Pfaff


The music of Bill Pfaff is characterized by a strong sense of line, clear harmonic motion, and gestures that have been described as “profound and extravagant.”  Known for his collaborative impulse, Bill has produced music for theater, dance and art installations.  In this context, his language embraces electronic sources, traditional acoustic instruments, electric guitar and found sounds. As a performer on the soundplane, Bill explores composition that combines physical modeling synthesis, granular synthesis and acoustic instruments.


Inspired by the unique geography and cultural landscape of the United States, Bill has been an Artist-in-Residence at the Ucross Foundation, Escape to Create, Petrified Forest National Park, Hubbell Trading Post National Historic Site and Canyons of the Ancients National Monument.  His sustaining interest in ethnomusicology, particularly the music of indigenous Americans, has led him to be inspired by and integrate traditional Native American instruments and musical concepts in his work. As Composer-in-Residence at Birdsong Academy of Music in Trinidad and Tobago, he created the Birdsong New Music Ensemble, a fusion of steel pan and traditional instruments. An ever-evolving and developing composer, Bill’s work represents several decades of immersive dedication to his craft.




Photo by Samantha Ritter


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Sally Reid


Composer Sally Reid was born in East Liverpool, Ohio, in 1948. She holds the Ph.D. from the University of Texas at Austin and is Professor of Music and Director of the School of Music at Lipscomb University in Nashville, Tennessee. Reid was editor of the ILWC Journal (International League of Women Composers) from 1991-1995 and served as President of the International Alliance for Women in Music (IAWM) in 1999-2000. She is also a member of the Society of Composers, Inc., the Southern Composers League and the Nashville Composers Association.


Reid’s compositions include works in both acoustic and electro-acoustic media and  employ tonality in a way that is both fresh and approachable. Her compositions have been referred to as “stunning and whimsical” and “charmingly demented.” Her most recent work has included orchestral realizations of original scores for historical documentaries and experimental films (Old Segundo Productions). Her score to Dry Gulcher Down received the George Bledsoe Award at an award presentation in Shalford England in 2008.


Dr. Reid has received annual ASCAP awards since 1987. Her Fiuggi Fanfare (for saxophone quintet) won First Prize during the Fifth International Festival of Women Composers at Indiana University of Pennsylvania and was released on the SCI compilation album Mosaic in 2010. Her compositions have been performed by North/South Consonance, Composers Concordance, Synchronia, New Music Now!, Opus 90, the Price Duo and Northern Accord. They have been broadcast in the U.S., Europe and Australia and are published by Hildegard Publishing, Southern Music and Elm Creek Music.




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William Thomas McKinley


William Thomas McKinley (December 9, 1938 – February 3, 2015) was an American composer and jazz pianist born in New Kensington, Pennsylvania). He wrote more than 300 musical compositions, many of which have been recorded by such ensembles as the London Symphony Orchestra, the Warsaw Philharmonic Orchestra, the Prague Radio Symphony Orchestra, and the Seattle Symphony.


McKinley was the recipient of numerous honors, including an award and citation from the American Academy and Institute of Arts and Letters, a Guggenheim Fellowship, and eight National Endowment for the Arts grants. He is also among the founders of the label MMC Recordings.


His son Elliott Miles McKinley is also a composer.


He died on 3 February 2015.




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